Guitar legend Gene Bertoncini and his Trio will perform on Friday, May 15th at 10pm at Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza. Tickets are $15 and available here. Once called the “Segovia of Jazz” by Gene Lees, Bertoncini was a United States Marine Corps Reservist and an architect before he was performing and working with the likes of Benny Goodman, Burt Bacharach, and Tony Bennett (through most of the 70’s). He often cites his background in architecture as the reason many see such a strong linear structure in his arrangements – as if he sees music in blueprints rather than in notes on a sheet. Bertoncini was playing guitar as early as age 7, and had his first professional radio job on a children’s show with his brother by 16. He has a highly respected solo career not only in jazz, but also in bossa nova and classical guitar, even implementing some popular music styles along the way. In fact, he learned bossa nova from Joao Gilberto, one of the founders of the Brazilian style.
Some of his more popular work is with bassist Michael Moore; the duo has released several albums together and spent many years playing side-by-side. Over his many years of collaborations with renowned artists, Bertoncini has also maintained a strong solo career, including long standing weekly gigs at a couple of bars and restaurants in NYC (his birthplace and long-time place of residence).
Bertoncini will be accompanied by local string bassist Doug Richeson and his brother Dane Richeson on percussion. Doug has spent many years teaching and performing globally, even spending four years touring with the Tony Bennett company, though he now lives and performs mostly in central Ohio. Dane is the Director of Percussion Studies at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Wisconsin. He is also a jazz drummer, but has specialization in world percussion and has played the marimba at many international festivals.
Here are a few videos of the master in action: